If you are not a dad, please send this to the dad’s you love.
Dad, what lessons are you teaching your kids about money? My late dad taught me a number of lessons about money not so much by what he said but rather by what he did. We were 7 kids and each one of us was sent to boarding school. One thing I always knew was that come rain or sunshine, we were going to go to school and our school fees would be paid. But my dad didn’t believe in pocket money so we were given very little pocket money. So I learnt to save money and I never ran out of money. Now you know where my knack for money comes from, tough love has its benefitsJ
Our society puts a lot of financial pressure on man. Many kids read Cinderella and they wait expectantly for that one day when Prince Charming will come along and take care of all their needs. If you know Zulu, I’m sure you have had the saying “ubuhle bendoda zinkomo zayo” [the beauty of a man is his cows]. I’m not perpetuating societal norms but I know this, money is important and I’m sure most of us want to provide well for our families. My take on this is that all of us, men and women, need to strive to be financially independent. Our schools do us a big disfavour by not teaching us about money. I have no doubt in my mind that we would not have so many people struggling with debt if we were taught about money. It is not every employer that will invite me to come and talk to you about money. So if we are going to learn about money, we have to do it for ourselves – knowledge is power. We also have a duty to teach our kids about money.
Two things I wish every dad would know about money
1. Compound interest. This is interest on interest and how it works in your favour when you save & invest and how it works against you when you buy on credit. The best example of the power of compound interest is on pages 106 to 109 under the title, Start Early – You will finish first.
2. How to buy ETF [Exchange Traded Funds] shares – this is the easiest way for an average person to invest and grow their money. You can buy ETFs from as little as R300 monthly.
I cover these and more in the book From Debt to Riches. The first 4 chapters of the book talk about debt and how to get out of debt and the last chapter talks about buying ETF shares. ETFs are the easiest way for all of us to grow our money.
Conversation I had with Lebo*, married man and a father of two boys
I had a meeting with Lebo and amongst other things, we discussed ETF shares. Lebo had read the book From Debt to Riches and felt almost cheated that he didn’t know about ETFs until he read the book. He shared with me that he had just spent R13 000 buying software to teach him about investing in the stock exchange. He said “ I wish I knew about ETFs before I bought the software. I would have used the R13 000 to buy ETFs”. So dad, I wish you too would go ahead and acquired knowledge and use it to enrich your family and also impart it to your children. If our kids are going to learn about money and make money wise decisions, we have to take it upon ourselves to teach them the right money skills
*not his real name
If there is one lesson I wish dads would teach their kids about money it is this; “Money does NOT make a man”. That is why there is NO tombstone that reads “He left behind R50 million”.
In closing, I want to “sing” for you one of my late dad’s favourite song by Brook Benton “A man without love is nothing”. We would all be richer if our men had more love for their families.
Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me what lessons your dad taught you about money and what lessons you are teaching your kids about money.
INVITE PHUMELELE TO TALK TO YOUR STAFF ABOUT ALL THINGS MONEY